One year later, the country has made significant progress in bringing the pandemic under control.
In the middle of February, Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme began and it involved the vaccination of over 250 000 health workers who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as part of the Sisonke trial.
In readiness for the next stage of vaccinations to begin in May, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently indicated that, in addition to the 31 million doses of the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine to be procured, the nation is finalising an agreement for 20 million doses of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine.
Phase 2 is underway
Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is scheduled to start in mid-May. The next phase will be age driven and not co-morbidity or essential worker status driven as previously communicated. This is because most essential workers or people with co-morbidities will be covered in the various age groups.
Over the coming months, we hope to vaccinate as many Fedhealth members as possible. In line with international best practice, people with the highest risk of hospitalisation will be prioritised.
Currently, Phase 2 rollout is planned as follows:
• Phase 2A: Beneficiaries older than 60 years will be vaccinated between 18 May and 30 June
• Phase 2B: Beneficiaries between 40 and 60 years will be vaccinated from 1 July to 30 September (this can be extended to 30 November)
Please note: When the vaccine opens up for each age group, we will send out a communication to remind you that the vaccines are ready to be received.
Registration for vaccination
Registration for vaccination is scheduled to start in April and members are encouraged to register online on the EVDS site. We are in discussions with the Department of Health regarding the registration process, with the aim of ensuring a seamless and efficient registration process. We will be communicating the details of the registration process very soon.
Once we receive the registration link, we will share it via SMS with the members who will be eligible for the vaccine. Members will need to provide the following when registering:
• Scheme name
• Membership number
• ID number
• Residential address with postal codes
This system will allocate where you can get your vaccine (based on your area), and which vaccine you will be getting (this is dependent on stock available in the country at the time).
Medscheme Walk-in Centres
Furthermore, the Medscheme walk-in centres are in the process of being accredited by the Department of Health to serve as vaccination locations, which will improve your access and experience. We will provide you with an update as soon as we have these facilities available.
AfroCentric Health, of which Fedhealth’s administrator Medscheme forms part, is proud to be a member of the B4SA, an alliance of South African business volunteers formed to collaborate with Government and other stakeholders to mobilise business resources and capacity to combat COVID-19. The alliance has established work streams with core mandates that complement the government vaccine workstreams and support the national vaccine rollout campaign.
Important contact numbers
Fedhealth Customer Contact Centre: Monday to Thursday 08h30 – 17h00; Friday 09h00 – 17h00.
Call 0860 002 153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fedhealth Nurse Line and Emergency Medical Services: 0860 333 432 Paed-IQ: 0860 444 128 and SOS Call Me: *130*3272*31# Press 1. Emergency Medical Services; 2. Nurse Line; 3. MediTaxi
Visit the Coronavirus Hub on the Fedhealth website: https://fedhealth.co.za/media/2338/fedhealth-coronavirus-faqs-document.pdf or use the COVID-19 Chatbot (go to LiveChat on fedhealth.co.za to select). You can also use the WhatsApp service (click on https://wa.me/27600702479 from your mobile device) for assistance.
Important COVID-19 resources
COVID-19 online resource and news portal: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD): https://www.nicd.ac.za/